homepage logo

Shepherd University Foundation announces School of Music, scholarship funds raised

By Staff | Mar 8, 2019

Community members mingle and sip wine before the Third Annual A Musical Showcase for Scholarships on Saturday. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Shepherd University’s Department of Music had a number of reasons to celebrate on Saturday evening, during the Shepherd University Foundation’s annual fundraiser, A Musical Showcase for Scholarships.

Along with raising money for music students’ scholarships, some long-awaited news was officially announced during the concert.

“I’m so excited to welcome you all tonight to our third annual musical showcase. All I want to say is, this evening is a tremendous event,” said Shepherd University Department of Music Chair Robert Tudor, before the first half of the concert began, featuring classical music solos and duets by Shepherd Alumni Jillian Wiley, soprano, and Hannah Wardell, mezzo-soprano, which were accompanied on the piano by Nathan Arch.

Following the first half of the concert, Shepherd University Foundation representatives joined Tudor on stage, to announce the results from the evening’s ticket sales.

“Along with Lisa Younis, it has been my honor to co-chair this event,” said Marcia Brand, before mentioning how she became involved with the fundraiser. “Shepherd’s musical programs bring the brightest and best talent to this musical community. Three years ago, Alan Gibson asked me to help him raise money for Shepherd University’s music program, and I’ve been helping to do so ever since.

Joseph Williams, left, of Martinsburg, and Tori Wilds, of Martinsburg, celebrate Wilds' birthday during the Third Annual A Musical Showcase for Scholarships. Tabitha Johnston

“I want to thank each of you for your support. Each of our sponsors is key to our musical success,” Brand said. “I want to thank each of our faculty members, alumni and students who have helped with this event.”

Co-Chair Lisa Younis then announced the amount of money raised from the event for music student scholarships.

“Our goal was $35,000 for this evening,” Younis said. “In 2019, we raised $51,800 — we surpassed our goal by $16,000. This brings the total amount raised for scholarships, since this event was founded, to $135,000.”

Tudor then announced an upcoming change that will be happening in the Department of Music.

“Tonight, you are the first to know about this publicly,” Tudor said. “On February 1, the board of governors approved the restructuring of the Shepherd University School of Music. This is in recognition of student engagement, faculty effort and community support. Thank you for making this long-time aspiration a reality.”

The second half of the concert featured a program by the Martinsburg Jazz Orchestra, which is composed of community members, Shepherd alumni, Shepherd faculty members and Shepherd students. The orchestra’ conductor, Mark Cook, who is also the director of Jazz Studies at Shepherd, talked with the audience in between songs.

“I want to thank you all for coming out tonight, it’s been amazing,” Cook said, before complimenting all of the evening’s performers, including those in his orchestra. “What a great band — I’m really privileged to play with these guys.”